Edible Schoolyard Pittsburgh 


May 2014

We're glad you're here. 
 If you are interested in more information on food education or school gardens, we welcome you to visit our website:


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In This Issue
Volunteer with ESY
ECS and Colfax
Montessori and Faison
Urban League and Dilworth
ESY PGH Recipe of the Month
Seedlings at May Market

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Students Reached: 
Student Hours in the Garden: 218
Student Hours in the Classroom: 301


Volunteer Hours: 354
"The best part about spring in the garden is... the food and flowers; stuff sprouts; nice weather; the plants usually get watered by the rain; things germinate; there's always pollinators; things are growing; it is very pretty and it gives us food; EVERYTHING!"
-ECS Students
Pick, Pull, Snap!
Where Once a Flower Bloomed
by Lola M. Schaefer


This beautifully illustrated book takes (K-3rd or 4th grade) students through a garden to "pick, pull and snap" off fruits that all grew from plant flowers and buds.  Detailed illustrations draw the learner in and the great text keeps them engaged.


Book Suggestions Wanted! 


What gardening or food-centric books are you reading with your child or student?  We welcome your input and suggestions!  Just reply to this email and we will try to feature suggested books in upcoming newsletters!
Spielstabil Kid's 
Watering Can

This small and mighty watering can is perfect for young children - and tough enough to last for years.  While they are a bit pricy, we find that they make up for it in durability  -- and color!

Food Revolution Day:
Friday, May 16th
10:30am @ Phipps
Stirring Up Family Fun
3pm @ Obama Academy
Healthy Chef Competition + 100 local vendors!  FREE!

Join, Support and Learn with 
Grow Pittsburgh!

Check out some of our upcoming events, opportunities and resources:


 This month's Let Us Eat dinner in support of Grow Pittsburgh will be held at Tender Bar and Kitchen on May 8th.  Let us eat!







Would you like to volunteer with Grow Pittsburgh this growing season?  Serve your community and learn a few new gardening skills along the way!





The Urban Harvester:
Your Weekly Pittsburgh Garden and Cooking Advice!

This week: Rain Gardens

Click here to read the full Urban Harvester article written by Grow Pittsburgh's own garden expert, Susanna Meyer!



Free Pest and Disease ID Workshops - Join Us

Grow Pittsburgh welcomes you to sign up for one of two Pest and Disease ID sessions on location - a part of our free workshop series.  Come learn how to identify the problems that may arise in your garden this summer - for free!



Planting.  Learning.  Growing!


   This is what we've been waiting for!  Spring has arrived and with it comes the chance to plant, learn and grow with our amazing Edible Schoolyard student-farmers and collaborating teachers.  We have been busy with Earth Day events, garden celebrations and the buzz of spring work in the school garden - and we couldn't be any happier!

   Dig into the rest of our newsletter to hear all about what we've been up to the past month - and to see what's on tap for May.  


Volunteer with ESY Pittsburgh!
   We have two ways to get involved with ESY Pittsburgh this spring and summer and we need your help!

1. Join us for a volunteer day.  We will have periodic volunteer mornings or afternoons over the coming months to beautify our school garden spaces.  Join us to do good in our community and meet other great volunteers!

2. Sign up to care for one of our school gardens for a week or two!    We hold Summer Garden Care trainings at each of our schools in early June, then ask you sign up for one or two weeks over the summer to weed, water and harvest produce to take home!  You help us, and get produce in exchange.  We'll be happy to connect you with the school garden closest to your house!
Please email Maria, the ESY Program Manager at maria@growpittsburgh.org if you are interested in one or both of these opportunities, or if you have any questions!


----- Flagship Schools -----
Our Garden Educators teach 4+ weekly classes 
at our 6 Flagship Schools detailed below.    
Environmental Charter School
Located in Regent Square
   As practicing botanists and field scientists, Ms. K's 3rd grade students have been observing with careful detail the many emerging changes in the ECS garden. As they learn about changes in the weather and how these changes affect us, they also witness how these changes affect the garden. They have witnessed the first clovers to germinate and the first spiders to emerge. After seeding and watering, they've studied in careful detail the physical characters that make each plant unique and have mastered (to some extent) the science of plant identification: lettuce, orache, bittercress, dandelion.
   Meanwhile, Kindergarten students have been studying what makes for good soil and what environment plants will grow best in. As a culmination of their unit and as an act of service in conjunction with the Earth Nite: Servin' Up Summer event, the kindergarten teachers built two new raised beds to add to our ECS garden, and their students helped to carry buckets of soil and plant kale and collards. With the perfect soil recipe and more room to grow, we can proudly watch the ECS garden flourish.

Pittsburgh Colfax
Located in Squirrel HIll
    Finally, it's spring in the garden. The lilac is blooming, our raspberries are growing, and our spring garden salad is almost ready to eat. We've even encountered a family of young rabbits. But that's not all, the garden was also host to one oversized squirrel and over 200 Colfax students, parents, teachers, friends and community members: our second annual Wake Up the Garden event was a huge success! Many thanks to Brian Lee and his band, to Lydia and the Frick Environmental Center, Jess and the Joy of Catering, and to Adam Sikorski and the rest of the wonderful Colfax staff, but most of all thank you to the many committed parents of the PTO garden committee who helped to make this event a reality, and to those Colfax friends and families who attended and brought their donations for the Squirrel Hill Food Pantry.
   As part of the event, six fruiting trees and shrubs were planted (two blueberry bushes, two peach tress, and two pears). We hope that these can be gifts to Colfax students for generations to come. Many thanks to the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation for donating these trees.   
-Farmer Jim

Pittsburgh Montessori

Located in Friendship


   We have been having so much fun planting the school gardens this April. We were busy getting our hands in the soil while planting peas and turnips, and along the way we met our favorite soil maker, the earthworm. The garden is really coming to life now! We can also see many pollinators buzzing around the garden (around the beautiful pear tree in the very middle of the garden with it's many yellow flowers), especially the honeybee, who was featured in many lessons this month. Can your student tell you what pollination means and how bees get involved?
   Join us on Wednesday, May 28th, from 5-7 p.m. at the Montessori Heritage Dinner for a potluck dinner and a garden scavenger hunt, germination necklaces, and signing up for summer garden care! Hope to see you there!  Can't make it but want to help this summer?  See contact info for Maria Bowman below and let her know!


Pittsburgh Faison
Located in Homewood
Faison Garden Night visitors showing off their new seed germination necklaces!
   On May 1st, we had Spring Family Garden Night! It was a wonderful night, complete with a tasty family dinner by Dave Gancy from the Red Oak Cafe in Oakland. Many of our spring crops were featured in the food - broccoli, radishes, turnips. After eating, families could go to the source - a scavenger hunt asked families to find the foods from their dinners in the garden!
   We also had a great time cooking up biscuits with fresh garden herbs with Mrs. Lucot and blending up healthy spinach, blueberry, and banana smoothies for an after dinner treat.
   Are you interested in watering the school garden for one week over summer break (and taking home the food that is growing that week!)? If so, email Maria Bowman at maria@growpittsburgh.org or call at 412-362-5019. We're looking forward to seeing families at the Summer Garden Care Training on June 4th from 6-7 p.m.
-Farmer Courtney

Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh Charter School
Located in East Liberty


   The third and fourth grade classes have been going strong this spring in our school garden! The students tilled our soil and planted a wide variety of spring veggies, including broccoli, spinach, turnips, arugula, radishes, and clover. We learned how our clover cover crop restores nitrogen to our garden beds! In one of our favorite lessons, the students were challenged to find each part of a plant in our garden - roots, seeds, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. In the process, they learned how to identify different plants, and reinforced their knowledge on plant needs and growth cycles.
    This month we had our second annual EARTH DAY event! Every student at ULGPCS participated in an Earth Day activity for this special (albeit rainy) day. Our K and first grade classes learned about compost, and made some compost for our garden in our fun Compost Relay game. The second and third graders planted herb or vegetable seedlings to take home - be sure to check your seedling care instructions in their brown paper bags! The fourth graders created a hydroponics system (growing plants in water without soil!) for our science classroom, and planted lettuce that we will compare to the salad mix we already planted in our garden.The fifth graders will be leaving their legacy upon our garden, as they made beautiful mosaic concrete stepping stones, which will make the garden space more beautiful and keep our feet from getting muddy. After each lesson, every student enjoyed an ice cream treat and fun times with friends. We are thrilled with the success of our event this year, and are already thinking through fun activities for next year!
Pittsburgh Dilworth
Located in Highland Park

   April has been a busy month in our garden! The first grade classes have done amazing work waking up our garden and planting spring veggies. We have focused on the "ingredients" in soil, and prepared our garden beds by tilling and incorporating compost. In the meantime, we learned how to use garden tools safely, and how wriggly worms help make our soil healthier! We placed an emphasis on warm versus cool season crops as we planted our spring garden -- directly seeding lettuce, sugar snap peas, arugula, turnips, radishes, spinach, potatoes, a wide variety of flowers and clover; and transplanting broccoli, leeks, thyme, and calendula. Be sure to ask your first grader the "super power" of cool season crops! (They turn their starches into sugars in cold weather to prevent from freezing -wow!).

   The students loved our scavenger hunt in the garden. They searched for tulips, garlic, raspberry canes, compost, seeds and seedlings, among other signs of spring. Be sure to check out the gorgeous red, yellow, and orange tulips on your way into the building!

   Finally, this year's SPRING GARDEN NIGHT is coming up on Thursday May 15 at 6pm!  Join us for garden tours, games, and crafts, and tasty juices with Chef Bill Fuller. The evening is sure to be fun for all! Please bring a dish for the PTA-sponsored vegetarian potluck. Please RSVP: molly@growpittsburgh.org or 412-443-9654. 

  -Farmer Molly


ESY PGH Recipe of the Month

Fresh Pea Hummus
 From Jessica at Joy of Catering
Serves 3-4
  • 2 cups shelled fresh peas  
  • 3/4 t toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 T tahini paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil, blanch peas until just tender, 6-8 minutes and then transfer peas to a ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain well.
  2. Coarsely grind toasted and cooled cumin seeds in a spice or coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.
  3. Place ground cumin, cilantro and 1 clove of garlic in food processor and pulse to chop.
  4. Add cooked and drained peas, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper, puree until smooth. Taste and adjust with more garlic, tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper as desired. 
  5. Enjoy!
Note:  Jessica Podolsky (Chef at Joy of Catering) made this recipe at the Colfax Wake Up the Garden event this spring and it was a BIG hit!  She spread the Fresh Pea Hummus on flatbread and topped with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and shavings of parmesan cheese.  Give it a try!


Grow Pittsburgh Seedlings Available at 
Phipps' May Market


   Looking for beautiful vegetable and herb seedlings for your home garden?  Then look for the Grow Pittsburgh tent at this weekend's May Market on Friday and Saturday!


More info available here.

   The time of year we have been so greatly anticipating is here.  We hope you and your family will take advantage of this great opportunity to go outside and enjoy all that spring has to offer!

-The Edible Schoolyard Pittsburgh team


Contact Info

Grow Pittsburgh 

6587 Hamilton Ave

# 2W 

Pittsburgh, PA 15206 

412-362-GROW (4769)